Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Funding Opportunity Title
Tropical Medicine Research Centers (U01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Activity Code

U01 Research Project – Cooperative Agreements

Announcement Type
New
Related Notices

  • March 30, 2021 - Notice of Expansion of Research Scope of RFA-AI-21-004. See Notice NOT-AI-21-044.

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number
RFA-AI-21-004
Companion Funding Opportunity
RFA-AI-21-005 , U01 Research Project (Cooperative Agreements)
Assistance Listing Number(s)
93.855
Funding Opportunity Purpose

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) solicits research applications focused on the etiology, epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, prevention, treatment and control of select Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in endemic areas. The Tropical Medicine Research Centers (TMRCs) are intended to advance NIAID’s global research effort by targeting research endeavors to: develop novel diagnostic, prevention and therapeutic strategies adapted for the unique needs of low and middle-income countries (LMICs), as classified by the World Bank; create and sustain in-country research capacity; stimulate scientific collaboration and global partnerships; provide opportunities for junior and early-stage investigators to conduct research on NTDs; and facilitate sample sharing to support translational research to develop or evaluate new drugs, diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics, and/or vector control strategies.

Key Dates

Posted Date
March 05, 2021
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
May 18, 2021
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

30 days prior to the application due date

Application Due Dates Review and Award Cycles
New Renewal / Resubmission / Revision (as allowed) AIDS Scientific Merit Review Advisory Council Review Earliest Start Date
June 18, 2021 Not Applicable Not Applicable November 2021 January 2022 March 2022

All applications are due by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on the listed date(s).

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.

Expiration Date
June 19, 2021
Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Research (R) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts).

Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions.

Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

Table of Contents

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) solicits research applications focused on the etiology, epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, prevention, treatment and control of select Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in endemic areas. The Tropical Medicine Research Centers (TMRCs) are intended to advance NIAID’s global research effort by targeting research endeavors to: develop novel diagnostic, prevention and therapeutic strategies adapted for the unique needs of low and middle-income countries (LMICs), as classified by the World Bank; create and sustain in-country research capacity; stimulate scientific collaboration and global partnerships; provide opportunities for junior and early stage investigators to conduct research on NTDs; and facilitate sample sharing to support translational research to develop or evaluate new drugs, diagnostics, vaccines, and/or vector control strategies.

Background

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a major global health problem affecting nearly 1.6 billion people, most of whom live in the world’s least developed countries. NTDs are caused by a wide range of organisms and can be transmitted by a variety of vectors and intermediate hosts (mosquitoes, sand flies, black flies, tsetse flies, triatomine insects, and snails) as well as by contaminated water, food and soil. Since available medical or public health measures are currently inadequate to control most NTDs, research is urgently needed to identify and evaluate new tools and interventions. Efforts are also needed to strengthen local research capacity and infrastructure in endemic areas.

The TMRC program was initiated in 1991 with the goal of building Tropical Medicine Research Centers on-site in NTD endemic countries to support clinical and field research. NIAID currently supports seven TMRCs operating in six countries: Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, India, Peru, and Sri Lanka. Historically, an outcome of this research program has been increased capacity of TMRC awardees to support independent research activities, conduct future clinical trials, and implement new treatment, prevention, and vector control strategies.

Research Objectives and Scope

The scope of the research to be supported under this FOA is limited to the following NTDs: schistosomiasis, hookworm infection, ascariasis, leishmaniasis, trypanosomiasis, Chagas’ Disease, trichuriasis, leprosy, lymphatic filariasis, trachoma, onchocerciasis, dracunculiasis, Buruli ulcer, echinococcosis, taeniasis and cysticercosis, and food-borne trematodiases. Each TMRC must design and conduct research on NTDs in endemic areas, and studies must address one or more of the following research areas: genomics, epidemiology, diagnostics, transmission, immunology, and pathogenesis. Translational research on diagnostics to support product development and inform targeted intervention strategies is encouraged. TMRCs should try to leverage recent state-of-the-art technologies for product development, modeling, and surveillance strategies.

The TMRCs are encouraged to collaborate and leverage relationships with other NIH global health research programs, including the International Centers of Excellence for Malaria Research (ICEMR), Centers for Research on Emerging Infectious Diseases (CREID), Centers for AIDS Research (CFAR), Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS), International Centers for Excellence in Research (ICER), as well as similar programs funded by other organizations.

Research may be focused on a single pathogen or multiple pathogens. Multi-disciplinary research and/or research on more than one pathogen causing NTDs is encouraged. Research to be supported by the TMRC program will require clinical and field site development, as well as access to endemic populations. Research must involve human subjects, vectors, and/or specimen collections from endemic area field sites. Research areas may include, but are not limited to, the following activities:

  • Study of biomarkers;
  • Development and/or evaluation of diagnostics;
  • Vectors, intermediate hosts and transmission;
  • Study of co-infections (excluding HIV).

NOTE: This FOA will not support the following types of research projects. Applications that propose research projects in these areas will be considered non-responsive and will not be reviewed.

  • Research on NTDs that does not require access to human subjects or specimens from disease-endemic sites in LMICs;
  • Research that is not focused on the following pathogens, except in the context of co-infections or non-NTD outcomes as a result of anti-NTD interventions: schistosomiasis, hookworm infection, ascariasis, leishmaniasis, trypanosomiasis, Chagas’ Disease, trichuriasis, leprosy, lymphatic filariasis, trachoma, onchocerciasis, dracunculiasis, Buruli ulcer, echinococcosis, taeniasis and cysticercosis, and food-borne trematodiases.
  • Research that is not focused on: genomics, epidemiology, diagnostics, transmission, immunology, and/or pathogenesis
  • Research on Select Agents (see: http://www.selectagents.gov/SelectAgentsandToxinsList.html and accompanying regulations: https://www.selectagents.gov/regulations/index.htm).
  • Research on HIV/SIV
  • Clinical trials

TMRC Program

To coordinate the activities of all the TMRCs, organize a Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) that will provide oversight and advice to the TMRCs, and to assist with data and specimen sharing, an independent Tropical Medicine Research Centers - Coordinating Center (TMRC CC) (RFA-AI-21-005), will be established. The TMRC CC will organize annual meetings, which will require the participation of all the TMRC PIs, in order to exchange ideas and facilitate collaborations.

Data and Specimen Management and Sharing:

Each TMRC is responsible for implementing uniform procedures for collection, analysis, and storage of data and biological specimens across study sites. Each TMRC will also coordinate the development of its own cloud-based data management system, with the TMRC CC, to ensure that the TMRC utilizes common formats like the Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC) standards to facilitate data sharing. The TMRC CC will assist the TMRCs to develop and implement data management systems using REDCAP or similar software systems that the TMRC would prefer to use. Where desired and requested by the TMRC, the TMRC CC will assist the TMRCs to develop, test, and implement data collection systems on hand held devices that can be synchronized with onsite databases and the cloud, either in real-time or in batch, per the needs and available facilities and resources at the sites.

The TMRCs will work with the TMRC CC to provide data and/or information to existing NTD databases, or portals, such as Expanded Special Project for Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN) and Eukaryotes Pathogen Database (EuPathDB), to make the data publicly accessible. The TMRC is also responsible for depositing aliquots of the relevant specimens and their associated demographic and clinical metadata, into a publicly accessible electronic cloud-based data system (i.e., virtual specimen repository) developed and maintained by the TMRC CC, for the purpose of specimen sharing. Each TMRC is responsible for the quality control of the samples and associated demographic and clinical metadata before cataloging the samples into the virtual repository. The TMRC will upload specimen information into the virtual specimen repository in accordance with procedures established by the TMRC CC, in consultation with NIH and the Scientific Advisory Group (SAG), to be convened by the TMRC CC.

It is critical to enhance data-sharing and access to ensure that NIAID-funded data be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR). All NIAID-funded researchers must share research data to enhance the rigor and reproducibility of research results and secondary use per the NIAID Data Sharing Guideline at: https://www.niaid.nih.gov/research/data-sharing-guidelines as appropriate and consistent with achieving the goals of the program.

NIH and NIAID support several open domain-specific repositories and knowledgebases for broad sharing of data with the larger research community. However, we recognize that not all data have domain-specific repositories or allow self-publishing. There are several generalist repositories that can fill this gap. Researchers are encouraged to use one of their choice and/or work with their institutional library-supported repository to rapidly self-publish all useful and usable data rapidly. The TMRC will be responsible to store and ship specimens to requestors or outside repositories either through the recommendations of the SAG or negotiated specimen sharing agreements with the requestors. The cost for shipping and handling of the specimens will be borne by the requestors.

Collaboration and Capacity-Building

Each TMRC will collaborate with the TMRC CC and with other TMRCs on data harmonization, specimen sharing, scientific working groups, publications, annual meetings, and other ad hoc activities as needed. To capitalize on emerging opportunities consistent with the goals of the TMRC Program, the TMRC CC will establish and manage an Opportunity Fund, beginning in the second year, for new and early-stage investigators exploring novel study questions, experimental approaches, or mechanisms not already addressed by TMRC projects. The limited funding is meant to leverage the expertise, established field sites, specimens and data collected by the TMRCs to conduct pilot studies which will provide preliminary data to develop future larger grant applications. The scope of research for the Opportunity Fund will be limited to the following NTDs and their vectors: schistosomiasis, hookworm infection, ascariasis, leishmaniasis, trypanosomiasis, Chagas’ Disease, trichuriasis, leprosy, lymphatic filariasis, trachoma, onchocerciasis, dracunculiasis, Buruli ulcer, echinococcosis, taeniasis and cysticercosis, and food-borne trematodiases.

The TMRC will assist the TMRC CC to publicize Opportunity Fund solicitations, seek applications from qualified junior or early-stage investigators, provide logistical support, facilitate mentoring, and provide other scientific support to awardees, as appropriate. The TMRC will not make Opportunity Fund awards, but will provide mentorship and scientific direction to awardees, as appropriate. Opportunity Fund awardees may be external investigators or internal to the TMRC awardee institutions. TMRCs will also encourage, facilitate, and develop capacity-building opportunities for local investigators at endemic sites.

Annual Programmatic Reviews and Teleconferences:

Shortly after award, all TMRCs will attend a group kick-off meeting in the U.S. organized by the TMRC CC. After the first year, the TMRCs and the TMRC CC will organize and attend two-day annual meetings to review progress, seek guidance, and update NIH on programmatic issues as needed. These meetings will be held in the U.S. and will include TMRC PDs/PIs, key personnel, NIH staff, and Scientific Advisory Group members.

Note: Applications that do not contain both the Management, Collaboration, and Capacity-Building Plan and the Data and Specimen Management Plan in the Research Strategy section will be considered non-responsive and will not be reviewed.

See Section VIII. Other Information for award authorities and regulations.

Section II. Award Information

Funding Instrument

Cooperative Agreement: A support mechanism used when there will be substantial Federal scientific or programmatic involvement. Substantial involvement means that, after award, NIH scientific or program staff will assist, guide, coordinate, or participate in project activities. See Section VI.2 for additional information about the substantial involvement for this FOA.

Application Types Allowed
New

The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types. Only those application types listed here are allowed for this FOA.

Clinical Trial?

Not Allowed: Only accepting applications that do not propose clinical trials.

Need help determining whether you are doing a clinical trial?

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NIAID intends to commit $3,800,000 in FY 2022 to fund four to six awards.

Award Budget

Application budgets should not exceed $500,000 per year in direct costs. It is required that at least 65% of the annual direct costs should be committed for field work and related research activities at the endemic sites. Awards are contingent upon the availability of funds and submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Award Project Period

The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period. The maximum period is 5 years.

NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made from this FOA.

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

  • Public/State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education
  • Private Institutions of Higher Education

The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:

  • Hispanic-serving Institutions
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)
  • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions
  • Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

  • Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)
  • Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)

For-Profit Organizations

  • Small Businesses
  • For-Profit Organizations (Other than Small Businesses)

Local Governments

  • State Governments
  • County Governments
  • City or Township Governments
  • Special District Governments
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized)

Federal Governments

  • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
  • U.S. Territory or Possession

Other

  • Independent School Districts
  • Public Housing Authorities/Indian Housing Authorities
  • Native American Tribal Organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Faith-based or Community-based Organizations
  • Regional Organizations
  • Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions)
Foreign Institutions

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are eligible to apply.

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are eligible to apply.

Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are allowed. 

Required Registrations

Applicant organizations

Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.

  • Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) - All registrations require that applicants be issued a DUNS number. After obtaining a DUNS number, applicants can begin both SAM and eRA Commons registrations. The same DUNS number must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • System for Award Management (SAM) – Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
  • eRA Commons - Applicants must have an active DUNS number to register in eRA Commons. Organizations can register with the eRA Commons as they are working through their SAM or Grants.gov registration, but all registrations must be in place by time of submission. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • Grants.gov – Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s))

All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account.  PD(s)/PI(s) should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate their existing account with the applicant organization in eRA Commons. If the PD/PI is also the organizational Signing Official, they must have two distinct eRA Commons accounts, one for each role. Obtaining an eRA Commons account can take up to 2 weeks.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

2. Cost Sharing

This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

Number of Applications

Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time.  This means that the NIH will not accept:

  • A new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping new (A0) or resubmission (A1) application.
  • A resubmission (A1) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of the previous new (A0) application.
  • An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see NOT-OD-11-101).

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

The application forms package specific to this opportunity must be accessed through ASSIST, Grants.gov Workspace or an institutional system-to-system solution. Links to apply using ASSIST or Grants.gov Workspace are available in Part 1 of this FOA. See your administrative office for instructions if you plan to use an institutional system-to-system solution.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Research (R) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

Letter of Intent

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows IC staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

By the date listed in Part 1. Overview Information, prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • Name(s), address(es), and telephone number(s) of the PD(s)/PI(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Eleazar Cohen, Ph.D.
Telephone: 240-669-5081
Email: ecohen@niaid.nih.gov

Page Limitations

All page limitations described in the SF424 Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.

Instructions for Application Submission

The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this FOA.

SF424(R&R) Cover

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed

with the following exceptions or additional requirements:

In the biographical sketches, highlight experience managing or coordinating data systems for large international research projects.

R&R or Modular Budget

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed

with the following additional instructions:

  • Budgets must include at least 65% of the annual direct costs to be committed for field work and related research activities at the endemic sites. The cost of equipment and supplies procured from outside the endemic areas, but intended to be shipped to the study sites, may be included in the 65% commitment.
  • In each year, include funds for up to six TMRC representatives, including the PD(s)/PI(s), key personnel, and/or collaborators, to travel to and attend an annual two-day meeting in the U.S, organized by the TMRC CC. Costs for the meeting venue, logistics support, and travel and accommodations for Scientific Advisory Group members will be covered by the TMRC CC.
R&R Subaward Budget

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS 398 Research Plan

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Research Strategy: Include the following clearly labeled sections in the Research Strategy:

Management, Collaboration, and Capacity-Building Plan:

Describe how the TMRC will be managed to ensure adequate coordination and collaboration with the TMRC CC and other TMRCs. Describe how the TMRC will provide capacity-building opportunities for in-country investigators, institutions and junior or early-stage investigators. Also describe how the TMRC will collaborate with the TMRC CC to attract qualified applications for the Opportunity Fund from junior and early-stage investigators for pilot projects on NTDs. Include a plan for monitoring progress of the research supported by the Opportunity Fund. Describe the approach for communicating with NIAID, engaging with the Scientific Advisory Group, working with the TMRC Coordinating Center, and collaborating with other TMRCs.

Data and Specimen Management Plan:

Provide a data and specimen management plan that addresses the following:

  • Describe the cloud-based data management system to be developed to suit the research designs of the studies proposed in the TMRC and what aspects of the system development, testing and validation, will be coordinated with the TMRC CC.
  • Describe how data and specimens will be managed to ensure high quality and integrity. Include an organizational chart that identifies roles and responsibilities of staff for data management, and a quality management plan to ensure data completeness, integrity, and accuracy.
  • Identify and address potential barriers and other considerations to shipping various types of specimens that will be collected.

Note: Applications that do not contain both the Management, Collaboration, and Capacity-Building Plan and the Data and Specimen Management Plan will be considered non-responsive and will not be reviewed.

Resource Sharing Plan: Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

The following modifications also apply:

  • All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, must address a Data Sharing Plan. Describe local policies and regulations that govern data and specimen sharing in the country(ies) where the proposed research will take place. Identify and address potential barriers and other considerations to sharing various types of data and specimens that will be collected (clinical, epidemiological, genomic). Include a Coordination Plan with the TMRC CC to make a subset of specimens publicly available through the TMRC CC's virtual specimen repository.
  • All applications must describe the institution's past experience sharing specimens with external investigators, either through an ad hoc process or through a coordinated effort to place specimens in the public domain.
Appendix:
Only limited Appendix materials are allowed. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.
PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

When involving human subjects research, clinical research, and/or NIH-defined clinical trials (and when applicable, clinical trials research experience) follow all instructions for the PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following additional instructions:

If you answered “Yes” to the question “Are Human Subjects Involved?” on the R&R Other Project Information form, you must include at least one human subjects study record using the Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form or Delayed Onset Study record.

Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

Delayed Onset Study

Note: Delayed onset does NOT apply to a study that can be described but will not start immediately (i.e., delayed start).All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS Assignment Request Form

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

Foreign Institutions

Foreign (non-U.S.) institutions must follow policies described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, and procedures for foreign institutions described throughout the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

See Part 1. Section III.1 for information regarding the requirement for obtaining a unique entity identifier and for completing and maintaining active registrations in System for Award Management (SAM), NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code (if applicable), eRA Commons, and Grants.gov.

4. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates and times. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission. When a submission date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.

Organizations must submit applications to Grants.gov (the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies). Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration. NIH and Grants.gov systems check the application against many of the application instructions upon submission. Errors must be corrected and a changed/corrected application must be submitted to Grants.gov on or before the application due date and time.  If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late. Applications that miss the due date and time are subjected to the NIH Policy on Late Application Submission.

Applicants are responsible for viewing their application before the due date in the eRA Commons to ensure accurate and successful submission.

Information on the submission process and a definition of on-time submission are provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

5. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

6. Funding Restrictions

All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

7. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.  Paper applications will not be accepted.

Applicants must complete all required registrations before the application due date. Section III. Eligibility Information contains information about registration.

For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit How to Apply – Application Guide. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Dealing with System Issues guidance. For assistance with application submission, contact the Application Submission Contacts in Section VII.

Important reminders:

All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH. See Section III of this FOA for information on registration requirements.

The applicant organization must ensure that the DUNS number it provides on the application is the same number used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the System for Award Management. Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness and compliance with application instructions by the Center for Scientific Review and responsiveness by components of participating organizations, NIH. Applications that are incomplete, non-compliant and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in the policy. Any instructions provided here are in addition to the instructions in the policy.

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process.  Applications submitted to the NIH in support of the NIH mission are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

Overall Impact

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).

Scored Review Criteria

Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

Significance

Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? Is the prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project rigorous? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?

Investigator(s)

Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? If Early Stage Investigators or those in the early stages of independent careers, do they have appropriate experience and training? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?

Innovation

Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Have the investigators included plans to address weaknesses in the rigor of prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project? Have the investigators presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed? Have the investigators presented adequate plans to address relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies in vertebrate animals or human subjects?

If the project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of individuals of all ages (including children and older adults), justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?

Specific to this FOA: How adequate is the investigator's proposed plan to build capacity of in-country investigators, institutions, and junior or early-stage investigators?

Environment

Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements?

Additional Review Criteria

As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will evaluate the following additional items while determining scientific and technical merit, and in providing an overall impact score, but will not give separate scores for these items.

'Management, Collaboration, and Capacity-Building Plan' and 'Opportunity Fund': How adequate is the description of how the investigators will work with the TMRC Coordinating Center to attract qualified applications for the Opportunity Fund from junior and early-stage investigators to support research on NTDs? Do the investigators provide an adequate plan for monitoring progress of the research supported by the Opportunity Fund?

Data Sharing Plan: How adequate is the investigator's explanation of how data and specimens will be shared with the scientific community? To what extent is the plan feasible, considering local policies and regulations? How adequate is the proposed Coordination Plan with the TMRC CC to make a subset of their specimens publicly available through the TMRC CC's virtual specimen repository?

Protections for Human Subjects

For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.

For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Individuals Across the Lifespan

When the proposed project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals of all ages (including children and older adults) to determine if it is justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed. For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following criteria: (1) description of proposed procedures involving animals, including species, strains, ages, sex, and total number to be used; (2) justifications for the use of animals versus alternative models and for the appropriateness of the species proposed; (3) interventions to minimize discomfort, distress, pain and injury; and (4) justification for euthanasia method if NOT consistent with the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals. Reviewers will assess the use of chimpanzees as they would any other application proposing the use of vertebrate animals. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.

Biohazards

Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.

Resubmissions

Not Applicable

Renewals

Not Applicable

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations

As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items, and should not consider them in providing an overall impact score.

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Reviewers will assess whether the project presents special opportunities for furthering research programs through the use of unusual talent, resources, populations, or environmental conditions that exist in other countries and either are not readily available in the United States or augment existing U.S. resources.

Select Agent Research

Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).

Resource Sharing Plans

Reviewers will comment on whether the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources, are reasonable: (1) Sharing Model Organisms; and (2) Genomic Data Sharing Plan (GDS).

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources:

For projects involving key biological and/or chemical resources, reviewers will comment on the brief plans proposed for identifying and ensuring the validity of those resources.

Budget and Period of Support

Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s) convened by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications will receive a written critique.

Applications may undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific and technical merit (generally the top half of applications under review) will be discussed and assigned an overall impact score.

Appeals of initial peer review will not be accepted for applications submitted in response to this FOA.

Applications will be assigned to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

  • Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by scientific peer review.
  • Availability of funds.
  • Relevance of the proposed project to program priorities.
  • In addition to scientific merit, selection and funding decisions will consider the need to establish a balanced research portfolio, taking into account the diverse range of NTDs and their geographic distribution.

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD/PI will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written critique) via the eRA Commons. Refer to Part 1 for dates for peer review, advisory council review, and earliest start date.

Information regarding the disposition of applications is available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization for successful applications. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document and will be sent via email to the recipient's business official.

Awardees must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions. Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.

Any application awarded in response to this FOA will be subject to terms and conditions found on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.  This includes any recent legislation and policy applicable to awards that is highlighted on this website.

Institutional Review Board or Independent Ethics Committee Approval: Recipient institutions must ensure that protocols are reviewed by their IRB or IEC. To help ensure the safety of participants enrolled in NIH-funded studies, the awardee must provide NIH copies of documents related to all major changes in the status of ongoing protocols.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Recipients, and Activities. More information is provided at Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants.

Recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS must administer their programs in compliance with federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, religion, conscience, and sex. This includes ensuring programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency. The HHS Office for Civil Rights provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-providers/provider-obligations/index.html and http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/section1557/index.html.

HHS recognizes that research projects are often limited in scope for many reasons that are nondiscriminatory, such as the principal investigator’s scientific interest, funding limitations, recruitment requirements, and other considerations. Thus, criteria in research protocols that target or exclude certain populations are warranted where nondiscriminatory justifications establish that such criteria are appropriate with respect to the health or safety of the subjects, the scientific study design, or the purpose of the research. For additional guidance regarding how the provisions apply to NIH grant programs, please contact the Scientific/Research Contact that is identified in Section VII under Agency Contacts of this FOA.

Please contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights for more information about obligations and prohibitions under federal civil rights laws at https://www.hhs.gov/ocr/about-us/contact-us/index.html or call 1-800-368-1019 or TDD 1-800-537-7697.

In accordance with the statutory provisions contained in Section 872 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417), NIH awards will be subject to the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) requirements. FAPIIS requires Federal award making officials to review and consider information about an applicant in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS) prior to making an award. An applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through FAPIIS and comment on any information about itself that a Federal agency previously entered and is currently in FAPIIS. The Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgement about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 45 CFR Part 75.205 “Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.” This provision will apply to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements except fellowships.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

The following special terms of award are in addition to, and not in lieu of, otherwise applicable U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) administrative guidelines, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) grant administration regulations at 45 CFR Part 75, and other HHS, PHS, and NIH grant administration policies.

The administrative and funding instrument used for this program will be the cooperative agreement, an "assistance" mechanism (rather than an "acquisition" mechanism), in which substantial NIH programmatic involvement with the recipients is anticipated during the performance of the activities. Under the cooperative agreement, the NIH purpose is to support and stimulate the recipients' activities by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the award recipients in a partnership role; it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activities. Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility resides with the awardees for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities may be shared among the awardees and the NIH as defined below.

The PD(s)/PI(s) will have the primary responsibility for:

  • Facilitating collaboration and coordination of scientific efforts with other TMRCs.
  • Communicating project issues and developments and soliciting guidance from the NIAID Program Officer when appropriate.
  • Participating in annual project meetings and organizing ad hoc teleconferences.

NIAID staff have substantial programmatic involvement that is above and beyond the normal stewardship role in awards, as described below:

  • The NIAID Project Scientist will work closely with the PD(s)/PI(s) and other TMRC member scientists to facilitate collaborations and to leverage the resources available to the TMRC program.
  • The NIAID Project Scientist will monitor the progress of the projects, help coordinate research approaches, and contribute to the shaping of research projects or approaches as warranted. The NIAID Project Scientist will support and facilitate this process but will not direct it.
  • The NIAID Project Scientist will keep the TMRC informed about other ongoing studies supported by NIAID to avoid duplication of effort and encourage sharing/collaboration in infectious diseases research. The NIAID Project Scientist will coordinate access for the TMRCs to other NIAID resources, as well as assist the research efforts of the TMRCs by facilitating access to fiscal and intellectual resources provided by industry, private foundations, NIH intramural scientists and other federal government agencies as appropriate.
  • The NIAID Project Scientist will provide significant direction on the membership and composition of the Scientific Advisory Group.
  • Additionally, an agency program official or IC program director will be responsible for the normal scientific and programmatic stewardship of the award and will be named in the award notice.

Areas of Joint Responsibility include:

  • The NIAID Project Scientist and the PD(s)/PI(s) will coordinate the scientific objectives and review progress at the annual workshop to facilitate the achievement of program goals.

Dispute Resolution:

Any disagreements that may arise in scientific or programmatic matters (within the scope of the award) between award recipients and the NIH may be brought to Dispute Resolution. A Dispute Resolution Panel composed of three members will be convened. It will have three members: a designee of an Executive Committee chosen without NIH staff voting, one NIH designee, and a third designee with expertise in the relevant area who is chosen by the other two; in the case of individual disagreement, the first member may be chosen by the individual awardee. This special dispute resolution procedure does not alter the awardee's right to appeal an adverse action that is otherwise appealable in accordance with PHS regulation 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D and DHHS regulation 45 CFR Part 16.

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

A final RPPR, invention statement, and the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout of an award, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later.  All awardees of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000.  See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement.

In accordance with the regulatory requirements provided at 45 CFR 75.113 and Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75, recipients that have currently active Federal grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from all Federal awarding agencies with a cumulative total value greater than $10,000,000 for any period of time during the period of performance of a Federal award, must report and maintain the currency of information reported in the System for Award Management (SAM) about civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings in connection with the award or performance of a Federal award that reached final disposition within the most recent five-year period.  The recipient must also make semiannual disclosures regarding such proceedings. Proceedings information will be made publicly available in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS).  This is a statutory requirement under section 872 of Public Law 110-417, as amended (41 U.S.C. 2313).  As required by section 3010 of Public Law 111-212, all information posted in the designated integrity and performance system on or after April 15, 2011, except past performance reviews required for Federal procurement contracts, will be publicly available.  Full reporting requirements and procedures are found in Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75 – Award Term and Conditions for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.

Application Submission Contacts

eRA Service Desk (Questions regarding ASSIST, eRA Commons, application errors and warnings, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, and post-submission issues)

Finding Help Online: http://grants.nih.gov/support/ (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)

General Grants Information (Questions regarding application instructions, application processes, and NIH grant resources)
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-945-7573

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and Workspace)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726
Email: support@grants.gov

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Malla Rao, Ph.D.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Telephone: 240-627-3352
Email: mrao@niaid.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Eleazar Cohen, Ph.D.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Telephone: 240-669-5081
Email: ecohen@niaid.nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Laura Pone
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Telephone: 240-669-2951
Email: Laura.Pone@nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Authority and Regulations

Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Part 75.


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